Analyse why some US pressure groups are more successful than others in achieving their aims and objectives. (30 marks)

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  • PG success
    • wealth
      • can fund officials in elections
      • can employ expensive lobbyists
      • wealth allows PGs greater access to officials
      • interests of wealthy better represented than those of the poor
      • increase apathy as seen as corrupt
      • money doesn't guarantee success
      • difficult to prove its linked because lobbyists may spend money on those who already support them
    • status
      • insider groups can use connections to directly lobby officials
      • outsider groups don't have these connections
      • iron triangles can be formed
      • may be seen as corrupt
      • may increase apathy
      • unfair on outsider grassroots movements
    • membership
      • number of members e.g. AARP 40m
      • wealth of members e.g. AARP retired
      • political participation of members e.g. AARP retired
      • gives PGs greater mandate
      • helps increase participation
      • Pgs don't need mass membership to be successful
    • aims
      • simple aims more likely to succeed cos easier to understand
      • popular aims more successful than controversial ones likely to split public
      • some aims more successful at state rather than federal level
        • e.g. legalisation of marijuana
      • without party support of aims, PGs likely to fail
      • aims with bi-partisan support more likely to succeed
      • unfair on PGs wiith specific or complex aims
      • unfair on PGs not so greatly supported by parties e.g. environmental groups
      • hard to make change due to bi-partisan support needed
      • because PGs have popular aims & party support doesn't man it'll succeed
        • 2013, 90% americans supported gun control background checks but defeated in Senate
    • organisation
      • leadership & direction
      • increases chance of corruption
      • reduces grassroots nature of group
      • focus on individuals rather than policies
      • well organised PGs could still fail
    • expertise
      • provide expert knowledge on specific areas
      • they can submit informative and persuasive amicus curiae briefs to the SC
      • more respect & recognition for PG
      • can better formulate action plan
      • less representation of less educated people
      • may fail for other reasons


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